Monday, 23 June 2014


Joakim Nystrom was a typical Swedish player of the 80's, a base liner who looked at times so casual that he appeared to be just having a hit up with a mate. His back hand was his strength, a shot that was hit with two hands but with a one handed release, not unlike Borg's. He didn't miss too many balls from the back of the court as Yannick Noah found out in Monte Carlo in '86.
Apparently the night before the final Yannick's wife gave birth so the Frenchman was lacking some sleep but the highlights of this match show Noah hitting and moving freely despite his late night. Noah's game was to attack as he did in the 1983 French Open final against Wilander yet in Monte Carlo Nystrom simply kept him back, the tactic worked beautifully. The score was 6-3, 6-2 and it shows how depth of shot can win a match , especially against a net rusher. 
1986 was Nystrom's standout year as he peaked at World number 7 in singles and 4 in doubles due in large to a Wimbledon Doubles win with good friend Wilander. In fact he won 5 titles that year in singles plus 4 doubles titles which included Wimbledon. He even beat 'the almighty'. In the final of Madrid he and Anders Jarryd beat 'Jesus' and his partner, that's a fact. How many tennis players out there by that name you reckon??
Nystrom won titles on three surfaces, grass, hard court and clay due mainly to his returning qualities, he rarely missed a return and he didn't just get it back, he returned with 'interest'. In the quarter finals of the French Open in 1985 he lost 5-7 in the fifth set to John McEnroe and at Wimbledon the same year he had another heart breaking loss. Nystrom played eventual unseeded Champion Boris Becker in the third round and went down 7-9 in the fifth , perhaps just a hand full of points that year that may have landed him a major.
The Swede qualified for the year ending Masters Tournament for three consecutive years , '84, '85 and '86 and his last singles title rather fittingly came at Bastaad in his home town of Sweden. 
He also played in Sweden's winning Davis Cup team in both '85 and '87 as he partnered Wilander in both finals in the doubles The two were brilliant together and won both matches comfortably.
Nystrom made the final of 18 singles Championships for 13 titles and he played in 20 doubles finals for a total of 8 titles. He finished his career with a doubles title in Bordeaux, France in 1988 and his career earnings were just over two million dollars. 
Joakim Nystrom was not as well known as perhaps Borg, Wilander and Edberg yet he will surely go down as one of the best players of the 80's, his record speaks for itself. If you look at who Sweden produced  in that decade you will realize just how good the nation was at producing players . Starting with Borg and then continuing with Wilander, Edberg, Nystrom, Jarryd, Carlsson and Pernfors the nation of Sweden was one of the best . Perhaps only Spain recently has surpassed Sweden in the number of top 100 Men's Professional's playing for their country.
The 80's were a great era for tennis, Sweden was possibly the bench mark , Joakim Nystrom was one of the best, no risk.......
 The tall Swede Joakim Nystrom and good friend Mats Wilander who won the 1986 Wimbledon Men's Doubles Title. 

No comments:

Post a Comment